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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 7, 2010

Torino fans in player restaurant attack

The Italian Professional Footballers' Association (AIC) has threatened to stage protests after a number of Serie B club Torino's players were attacked by angry fans outside a Turin restaurant late on Wednesday.

Former Manchester City forward Rolando Bianchi and defender Riccardo Colombo were slapped after being surrounded by a group of about 25 people, Torino's players said on the club's official website on Thursday.

The group then entered the restaurant where forward David Di Michele was celebrating his birthday and directed "slaps, threats of death and assaults at home, and pushes" at other players in front of their families, the statement said.

The fans are furious about the poor form of the team, who are 10th after being relegated from Serie A last season.

The AIC said it "expresses totally solidarity with the Torino players who suffered a vile ambush, attacked outside a restaurant after dinner with their families, and firmly condemns this shameful incident".

"The repetition of such appalling episodes will force the AIC to resort to appropriate acts of protest."

The Torino players also said they were considering giving a "strong signal" of protest.

Giancarlo Abete, the head of the Italian Football Federation, described the incident as "shameful".

The AIC said players of Serie A team Palermo and Serie B side Brescia had been victims of similar incidents recently.

Italy is trying to stamp out a serious hooliganism problem that has dogged the game in recent years. The government plans to introduce electronic supporter identity cards next season for fans to carry to away matches.

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